Reviewing Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch in the New York Times Book Review , Stephen King - who knows about big books - reflects on the challenges of writing big novels: “Such a prodigious investment of time and talent indicates an equally prodigious amount of ambition, but surely there must be periods of self-doubt. To write a novel this large and dense is equivalent to sailing from America to Ireland in a rowboat, a job both lonely and exhausting. Especially when there are storms. Suppose, the writer thinks (must think), this is all for nothing? What if I’m failing and don’t know it? What if I make the crossing and am greeted not with cheers but with indifference or even contempt?”

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Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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